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God Whispers “Fish”

A number of years ago our sons and I enjoyed some days together drifting and fishing the Madison River in Montana with two fishing guides who also served as our boatmen.

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Resting In God

It was our last holiday together as a family before our eldest son went off to college. As we filled the back pew in the little seaside church, my heart filled with love as I glanced along the row of my five reasonably tidy children. “Please protect them spiritually and keep them close to You, Lord.” I prayed silently, thinking of the pressures and challenges each of them faced.

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Hope In Suffering

When I opened my Bible to read Jeremiah 1 through 4, the subhead ascribed to the book startled me: “Hope in Time of Weeping.” I almost cried. The timing was perfect, as I was walking through a season of weeping over the death of my mom.

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Outlasting Bitterness

During the Second World War, Corrie ten Boom’s family owned a watchmaking business in the Netherlands, and they actively worked to protect Jewish families. Eventually, the entire ten Boom family was sent to a concentration camp, where Corrie’s father died 10 days later. Her sister Betsie also died in the camp. While Betsie and Corrie were in the camp together, Betsie’s faith helped to strengthen Corrie’s.

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The Warmth Of The Sun

On a November day in 1963, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote a song quite unlike the band’s typically upbeat tunes. It was a mournful song about love that’s been lost. Mike said later, “As hard as that kind of loss is, the one good that comes from it is having had the experience of being in love in the first place.” They titled it “The Warmth of the Sun.”

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Dealing With Distractions

A restaurant owner in the village of Abu Ghosh, just outside Jerusalem, offered a 50-percent discount for patrons who turned off their cell phones. Jawdat Ibrahim believes that smartphones have shifted the focus of meals from companionship and conversation to surfing, texting, and business calls. “Technology is very good,” Ibrahim says. “But . . . when you are with your family and your friends, you can just wait for half an hour and enjoy the food and enjoy the company.”

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Can You Help?

The administrators of the high school in Barrow, Alaska, were tired of seeing students get into trouble and drop out at a rate of 50 percent. To keep students interested, they started a football team, which offered them a chance to develop personal skills, teamwork, and learn life lessons. The problem with football in Barrow, which is farther north than Iceland, is that it’s hard to plant a grass field. So they competed on a gravel and dirt field.

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Goodbye

When Max Lucado participated in a half-Ironman triathlon, he experienced the negative power of complaint. He said, “After the 1.2-mile swim and the 56-mile bike ride, I didn’t have much energy left for the 13.1-mile run. Neither did the fellow jogging next to me. He said, ‘This stinks. This race is the dumbest decision I’ve ever made.’ I said, ‘Goodbye.’” Max knew that if he listened too long, he would start agreeing with him. So he said goodbye and kept running.

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Rooted Love

When I think of all the wonders of God’s magnificent creation, I am especially awed by the giant sequoia tree. These amazing behemoths of the forest can grow to around 300 feet tall with a diameter that exceeds 20 feet. They can live over 3,000 years and are even fire resistant. In fact, forest fires pop the sequoia cones open, distributing their seeds on the forest floor that has been fertilized by the ashes. Perhaps the most amazing fact is that these trees can grow in just 3 feet of soil and withstand high winds. Their strength lies in the fact that their roots intertwine with other sequoias, providing mutual strength and shared resources.

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Defeated Adversary

The roaring lion is the legendary “king of the jungle.” But the only lions many of us see are the lethargic felines that reside in zoos. Their days are filled with lots of rest, and their dinner is served to them without the lions having to lift a single paw.

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Amazing Guide

When actors and actresses make a movie, it’s the director who sees the “big picture” and the overall direction. Actress Marion Cotillard admits she didn’t understand everything the director was doing in one of her recent films. She said, “I found it very interesting to allow myself to be lost, because I knew that I had this amazing guide. . . . You abandon yourself for a story and a director that will make it all work.”

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Windfall

Upon winning $314 million in a 2002 lottery, a happy business owner expressed noble desires. He wanted to start a charitable foundation, put laid-off workers back on the job, and do nice things for his family. Already wealthy, he told reporters the big win wouldn’t change him.

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Heartbreak And Hope

When American country singer George Jones died at the age of 81, his fans remembered his remarkable voice and his hard life and personal struggles. While many of his songs reflected his own despair and longing, it was the way he sang them that touched people deeply. Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot said, “His voice was made for conveying heartbreak.”

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Creeping Christmas?

I love Christmas. The celebration of the birth of Christ and the beauty and wonder of the season make it “the most wonderful time of the year” for me. In recent years, however, the season has been accompanied by a growing irritation. Every year “Christmas stuff” comes out earlier and earlier—creeping all the way back to early fall.

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The Final Picture

What started as an empty 11-acre field in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended up as the largest land portrait in the British Isles. Wish, by artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, is made from 30,000 wooden pegs, 2,000 tons of soil, 2,000 tons of sand, and miscellaneous items such as grass, stones, and string.

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The Drinking Gourd

Prior to the American Civil War (1861–1865), fugitive slaves found freedom by following the Underground Railroad, a term for the secret routes from the South to the North and the abolitionists who helped them along the way. Slaves would travel at night for many miles, keeping on track by following the light of the “Drinking Gourd.” This was a code name for the collection of stars known as the Big Dipper, which points to the North Star. Some believe the fugitives also used encoded directions in the lyrics of the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd” to keep them from getting lost as they traveled.

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The Honor Of Following

While visiting Jerusalem, a friend of mine saw an old rabbi walking past the Wailing Wall. The interesting thing about the aged rabbi was the five young men walking behind him. They too were walking bent over, limping—just like their rabbi. An Orthodox Jew watching them would know exactly why they were imitating their teacher. They were “followers.”

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Tear Down The Wall

The years following World War II were labeled the Cold War as nations exchanged threats and jockeyed for power. The Berlin Wall, built in August 1961, stood for almost 3 decades as one of the most powerful symbols of the smoldering animosity. Then, on November 9, 1989, it was announced that citizens could cross freely from East to West Berlin. The entire wall was demolished the following year.

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Oranges Or Milk?

When I told my young daughter that a 3-month-old baby boy was coming to our house for a visit, she was delighted. With a child’s sense of hospitality, she suggested that we share some of our food with the baby; she thought he might enjoy a juicy orange from the bowl on our kitchen counter. I explained that the baby could drink only milk, but that he might like oranges when he was older.

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Multiply It

Amy had battled cancer for 5 years. Then the doctor told her that the treatments were failing and she had just a few weeks to live. Wanting some understanding and assurance about eternity, Amy asked her pastor, “What will heaven be like?”

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29 thoughts on “Multiply It

  1. dj46 says:

    When I read this earlier today, I thought of my dear friend, Carol Sue, who was in the hospital and wasn’t expected to recover. We just received a text from her daughter that she “is at peace now” and I’m so happy she was a Christian who loved the Lord so that I can see her again one day. This is just one of many times that ODB devotions have been absolutely relevant for the day they are given–at least in my experience. I don’t know how that happens without God’s hand on all who contribute and the power of the Holy Spirit to bless us through you. Thanking God for using you all in this way. God bless and keep you all close.

  2. nana.cece says:

    Heaven!How glorious!
    Eternity- that’s a looonnng time. No, that’s beyond time. And we get to spend it in the most amazing place that ever existed, with an “upgrade”. Jesus has been working on perfecting an already perfect place since he ascended over 2000 years ago. Look what he did in 6 days. Can you imagine what his 2000 year project must look like? Uuuuuh, I can’t wait to get there!
    But how we toil, and worry and get frustrated about things on this earth, that we are just passing through. Even if you live to be 1000 years, that’s only a dot compared to eternity. If we lived everyday in preparation for heaven, we wouldn’t be half as frustrated and stressed and worried as we sometimes are.

    Oh Lord help us to live each day getting ourselves and our world ready for eternity. Yes, our world- there are still so many people who are not ready – have you shared the Good News today?

  3. bondserve says:

    Excellent message of hope today. I’ve alway loved the following story.

    A doctor was visiting a dying man at the man’s home. Knowing he would soon die, the Christian man asked his physician, who was also a minister what things would be like in the afterlife.

    Outside the door, the doctor’s dog who accompanied the good doctor was putting up a racket scratching at the door, wanting inside. The man asked, “Doc, what’s heaven like?”

    Smiling the doctor said, “You hear that scratching at the door? That’s my dog out there. He really wants to get in here, even though he’s never been in here before, and he has no idea what it’s like in here. What he does know is that his master is in here. He loves his master and his master loves him. And that’s enough for him. Heaven is where your loving Master is.”

    The man died with a smile on his face.

    1. eternallyhis says:

      Awesome! That certainly is and should be enough. He is a wonderful Lord.
      Thank you for sharing such a simple, yet profound message.

  4. bookworm5 says:

    My daily prayer is that the last soul will be saved, and we’ll be Raptured. I long to see my loved ones, especially my dad, but I really just want to hear those words “well done good and faithful servant” from my Heavenly Father. Imagine the testimonies and stories from saints of old that we’ll hear! No wonder it will take eternity to experience it all!

    1. nana.cece says:

      Halleluyah!

    2. eternallyhis says:

      “What a glorious day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see. When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace.
      When He takes me by the hand and leads me to the promise land, what a day, glorious day that will be.”

      And just think, we will have enough time to meet and get to know all the prophets of old and even all of our online friends that we’ve never met face to face here in this world.
      And best of all, we will be able to see Jesus in all of His glory and we will be able to praise Him with the heavenly language He so rightly deserves. Blessed be His Holy Name.

  5. hjperez46 says:

    I have struggled with my health now for the last 68 years of my life. Knowing that before I was born into this world, I began to die as soon as I started developing inside my mothers womb. As I look back to learning and maturing in Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior, I am even more grateful that my “my plane has been warming up at the airstrips”. And I’m just waiting for my Pilot “Jesus Christ” to pick me up and take me Home. There is wear I really belong if by Grace I am truly convince that I finished the race not by being First or Last. Hjperez Amen

    1. cst5 says:

      Dear hjperez46, You are truly a miracle of God! with a purpose here on earth. For those of us who are chronically ill, life can at times be difficult and seem to stretch on forever before us without any seeming purpose. But, to God, our Father, who created us for a purpose, all things happen for our good in His timing,though we may not yet comprehend. Please, do not misunderstand. I’m not saying, God wanted us to be I’ll. I cannot fathom our Father’s intentions. But, what I am saying is that, He can turn all circumstances to our good,and for the good of others. Let me share a glorious story: My mom’s husband, my 2nd dad, was a good, quiet Christian. He became I’ll one summer and by the next he had died of numerous excruciating complications. Yet, he never complained, ever. Not ever. He was unfailingly kind, generous and cheerful to the last days of communication to those who cared for him; refusing all pain meds. In his last moments, he suddenly inclined his head,she said, as though listening intently and mumurring in reply, reached out his hand and began to appear like he was climbing a staircase. He’d been unconscious for days. But now, his face was infused with a serene and beautific light, with a contented smile upon his lips. The other arm looked as if it were clasped through, for support. As she watched her beloved climb the stairs to heaven, supported by Our Lord or angels, my dad passed over with that indescribable smile and infusing light all about him.
      You have a purpose here, to be a Prayer Warrior, for all those who are suffering without the comfort or knowledge, or salvation of Our Lord. To have the luxury to pray for those who are suffering without His comfort, I am constantly grateful. What joy, what bliss, to take my mind off my screaming body for a few moments or hours, while I pray for those who have no knowledge of the One True God! For their reception of His love, salvation and peace. I thank You Father God, Jesus my Savior, and my Counselor and Comforter for the innumerable times You have forgiven me, for my salvation, Your everlasting love and kindness. Truthfully, much more than I could ever deserve. I rejoice that You give it me! Until You are ready to call me home, help me to strive to be ready: to follow Your Word with joy and thankgiving; be faithful to Your will, and to occasionally give shouts of laughter at how truly blessed I am.AMEN AND AMEN!

  6. carlfielstra says:

    My mother and father have been with Jesus for may years now. Though I miss them and would love to pick up the phone to say hello, I am blessed to know what they enjoy in Heaven, and to be reminded that one day I will join them along with the great cloud of witnesses who have gone home over the centuries. The passage used for today’s meditation is like a picture postcard from Heaven. I imagine the note on the postcard says “This so amazing! You are going to love it.”

  7. browill says:

    amen to all these comments……..I CAN’T WAIT……

  8. aampll says:

    Some people believe that Heaven is right here on earth, but this can never be true.
    There’s got to be a better place for believers in Christ, and that’s clear in God’s word.
    How I long for that place.
    My prayer is for those who do not know Christ, to come to know the truth, and be ready to spend eternity with Christ.
    O God, thank You for providing a Far Better life for us. Eternity with You. Only then can we experience true happiness. Worshiping and serving Christ forever. What a life to look forward to. Thank You Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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